Season 7 Profile: Paris Rouge Eiffels

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GM: Ralph Booth (only GM in team’s history)

Coach: Michel Therrien (replaced Randy Cunneyworth after Season 2)

Last season: 2nd overall  (In playoffs, defeated Zurich, Athens, Berlin and then lost in the Cup Finals to Minsk)

Ins and Outs (Season 6 to Season 7)

Out: Josef Vasicek (free agent), Martin Erat (free agent), Alex Tanguay (free agent), Ryan Clowe (free agent), Michael Ryder (free agent)

In: Radek Faksa (draft), Joel Eriksson Ek (draft), Nick Merkley (draft), Erik Gustasson (draft)

In Place (Key players signed past Season 7)

Alex Pietrangelo, D; Kris Letang, D; Travis Hamonic, D; Evgeny Malkin, C; Joffrey Lupul, LW; Kyle Turris, C; Tuukka Rask, G3qs

 
Three Questions

1. Are they getting sick of each other? It looks like the dressing room is still a very happy place. General Manager Ralph Booth has put together a core of players who have had success and seem to enjoy each other’s company. Paris fans are certainly used to seeing names like Malkin, Lupul, Perron, Perry, Piertrangelo, Letang, Semin, Turris and Rask skating around the rink in Paris. All nine of them became Rouge Eiffels in the initial EURO draft. And in the next draft, defensive stalwarts Ken Kuusk, Ossi Vaananen and Jason Krog joined the club a few months before Travis Hamonic came in via a trade with Stockholm. Those four defensemen joined the original 9, quickly won a Cup, and they have all been together terrorizing the Southern Conference ever since. It’s a well-oiled machine and a close-knit community of players and families, and it’s mind-blowing to think the defense corps has remained exactly the same for a sixth straight season.

2. Should such a strong group have more than one Cup? Paris fans, players and management must be a little disappointed that they didn’t follow their Season 2 championship with even one more, given the talent that is spread throughout the team. But that’s just the way it worked out. Paris did nothing wrong; it’s simply that Moscow was excellent in Season 3, Belfast was fantastic the next two seasons and Minsk was mightiest last season. After failing to make the playoffs in Season 1, Paris has marched to at least the Southern Conference Finals in each of the next five seasons, and they advanced to the EURO Cup Finals three times. Zurich has been Paris’ biggest playoff victim. The Rouge Eiffels eliminated the Lions in each of the last four playoffs. Paris eliminated Athens three times, but lost to the Greeks in the Season 4 conference finals. All that success has given Paris a healthy lead over everyone else in Websim’s Prestige standings.

3. Will the loss of Josef Vasicek hurt much? It’s no coincidence or fluke that Josef Vasicek, 30, has by far and away the best plus-minus rating of any forward in EURO League history. He is currently at plus 183, putting him 50 plus signs ahead of the next best forward, Mikko Koivu, and 60 plus signs ahead of Kyle Turris, who sits third on that list. The interesting part is that for much of Vasicek’s time in the league, Turris was his center and when it wasn’t Turris, it was Koivu. But Vasicek left Paris and is in Bern this season, playing the first year of a two-year, $8.5 million per year contract with a no-trade clause. Koivu was swapped out last season for Mike Richards, who put together a plus 27 season with Paris in Season 6. That leaves Turris on one of the less-used lines with a couple of unfamiliar wingers in Jack Callow and Radek Faksa. If Paris is going to stumble this season, this line will be the Achilles heel. The other forward line includes veterans Dave Bolland (plus 53 last season), Lauri Korpikoski (plus 47) and Benoit Pouliot (plus 22). Those numbers have to breed confidence throughout the Paris team.

History

Season                 Place        PTS        PP %      PK %      SPG        SAPG     GPG     GAPG    PIM

Season 6              2                  123         21.4       81.3       33.12        27.17      4.15     2.67       11.24

Season 5              4                  111           21.3       85.6      34.59     27.26    4.10    2.88             10.93

Season 4              2                  113         21.3       81.1       34.10      29.32    4.16     3.07             12.23

Season 3              1                   116          18.0       84.5       33.88     27.52    4.09     2.93               13.85

Season 2              3 (Cup)       104         20.6       81.5      31.40     31.22     3.67        3.34                12.57

Season 1              19                  72         22.8        79.8        27.65     33.06    3.07        3.68                9.09

Top Draft picks

Season 1: Alex Pietrangelo, D, current age 27. Games played: 484; points: 356; +150

Season 2: Ken Kuusk, D, age 23. GP 355, Pts 141, +81

Season 3: Viktor Fasth, G, age 34. GP 67, Save Pct. 89.1

Season 4: Philipp Grubauer, G, age 25.  GP 42,  Save Pct. 88.5

Season 5: Brandon Halverson, G, age 20.

Season 6: Ivan Provorov, D, age 19.

Season 7: Radek Faksa, LW, age 21

Trade History

Season 1 (picks without years listed are from initial draft)

Traded Round 3 pick (used to draft Dustin Byfuglien), Round 20 pick (Jonathan Bernier), and Round 26 pick (Jeff Woywitka)to Milan for Round 6 pick (used to draft David Perron), Round 21 pick (Mike Green) and 2013 Round 1 pick (Ossi Vaananen)

Traded Round 7 pick (Dennis Wideman) to Geneva for Round 15 pick (Ryan Ellis),  Round 25 pick (Ben Lovejoy) and 2013 Round 1 pick (Jason Krog)

Traded Adrian Aucoin to Bern for Round 13 pick (Dmitri Orlov), Round 19 pick (Carlo Colaiacovo) and 2014 Round 1 pick (traded later) (Jake Muzzin)

Season 2

Traded 2014 Round 3 pick (Thomas Hickey) to Stockholm for Ryan Clowe

Traded Dmitri Orlov and 2014 Round 1 pick (Jake Muzzin) to Stockholm for Travis Hamonic

Traded Derek Brassard, T.J. Brodie and Ryan Ellis to Stockholm for Josef Vasicek

Traded Jaden Schwartz and 2014 Round 1 pick (Peter Mueller) to Stockholm for Miko Koivu

Traded Philip Larsen to Bratislava for Lee Stempniak and 2014 Round 3 pick (Steve Oleksy)

Season 3

Traded Mike Green to Stockholm for Jordan Caron

Season 4

Traded Viktor Fasth to Stockholm for 2018 Round 3 pick

Season 5   

After start of Season 5

Claimed Mike Ribeiro (waivers)

Claimed Nick Palmieri (waivers)

Claimed Jordan Caron (waivers)

Traded Andre Burakovsky to Copenhagen for Nathan Gerbe and 2017 Round 2 pick (Madrid’s) (Ilya Samsonov)

Season 6

Traded Jared McCann to Copenhagen for 2017 Round 1 pick (Athens’) (Ivan Provorov)

Traded Mikko Koivu, 2017 Round 2 pick (Mirco Mueller) and 2017 Round 3 pick (Vladislav Namestnikov) to Stockholm for Mike Richards

Traded 2018 Round 1 pick, Craig Paquette, Jordan Caron and Colton Gillies to Copenhagen for Dave Bolland, Benoit Pouliot, Martin Erat and 2018 Round 2 pick (Radek Faksa)

After Season 6 started:

Signed Sergei Zinovjev (free agent), Lauri Korpikoski (free agent), Ryan Clowe (free agent), Michael Ryder (free agent), Alex Tanguay (free agent); claimed Steve Olesky (waivers); claimed Colton Gillies (waivers) then lost Gillies (waivers); lost Nathan Gerbe (waivers)

Season 7

After season started: Signed Tom Wandell (free agent), signed Matt Frattin (free agent), claimed Damien Brunner (waivers); lost Radek Faksa (waivers)

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